Love yourself, so you can love others
Love is fascinating. February is the month to remember and celebrate romantic love. What is often neglected, but which is just as important, is the ability to love and be kind to oneself.
What self-love is not, however, is not egotism, narcissism or selfishness, which can be viewed as self-absorption. Loving oneself, paradoxically, is outward-looking because the focus is on how you can make your life count.
Self-love requires investment in the things that bring your meaning. But the investment pays off. So make this Valentine’s Day (or your Special Day) different. Do something for yourself and celebrate the unique individual you are, deserving of love, joy and peace.
How to practise love starting from ourselves ?
You have the power to create opportunities for happiness. According to a health and mental happiness specialist, the key is to take time out for yourself regularly and treat yourself as you would someone you love.
Here are suggestions to give love to oneself.
Like being in an aircraft emergency, you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others
Devote 5 to 10 Minutes a day as “My Time”
Use “My Time” to do what you enjoy or simply to relax and stretch those aching muscles. You can also use the time to do something something to show appreciation for yourself. For example, you can wear your favourite clothes, buy something small for yourself or plan your next vacation.
Eat and Sleep Well
A well-cared body is critical for both your physical and mental happiness health !
Do eat nutritious food, have enough rest, excercise regularly and avoid harmful substances like cigarettes, alcohol and drugs. This is important because the mind and body are interwined. Poor physical health can affect your ability to function at work or do things that you enjoy which, in turn, can affect mental health. People with chronic ailments have a higher risk of developing poor mental health
Do Something that you like
Take care of your mental health and do things that make you feel positive. These include activities you enjoy, such as learning something new, attending a course, pampering yourself at a spa or taking time out to meditate.
Stop Being Critical of Yourself
Accept yourself for who you are, including all your flaws. Show compassion and kindness to yourself by embracing your human imperfections.
Acknowledge that you have weaknesses just like anyone else and remind yourself of your strengths. For example, you can tell yourself: “I have flaws and it is all right, as I have my strengths too.”
Self acceptance is about accepting that you have flaws and that you can work on making improvements, rather than criticise yourself for them.
People who are critical of themselves because of their flaws may develop mental health issues such as depression and anxiety as they continue in futile efforts to be perfect.
Don’t put yourself down
Affirm yourself instead of listening to the negative voice within that belittles you. Instead of judging yourslef for not meeting expectations, encourage yourself with positive statements such as “I am doing the best I can and I can try to do better next time”.
When you have a break-up with someone, do not think that you are unworthy and unlovable. Remind yourself of your positive attributes and that you are a caring person. When someone breaks up with you, it does not mean that you are worthless.
Remind yourself of other meaningful relationships that you have with friends and family, and think about how they can help you move on from the break-up.
Be Brave: Learn to say ‘No’
It is important to set appropriate boundaries with others, so that you do not overburden yourself and burn out.
For example, be assertive and learn to say “no” to demands that overstretch your resources or to unhealthy relationships, such as those that are abusive or whether the other person does not respect you.
Credit to Joyce Teo – Article adaption
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